Homebrewing Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for dedicated home brewers and serious enthusiasts. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I just brewed a trappist style ale and I am ready to bottle it. I am a meticulous sanitizer. Just a question though. I have always filled my buckets/carboys with 5 gallons of star sans solution to sanitize it, and since I don't have the space I would dump the solution afterwards. This is wasteful and costly, so due to a response from another question I posted here, I was planning of mixing 1 gallon of solution and thoroughly shaking it in the bottling bucket to sanitize it. Is it a bad idea to try this sanitation method on bottles I plan to age for a good while (like a 18 months)?

share|improve this question
up vote 6 down vote accepted

What you propose will work fine. You can even keep StarSan in a spray bottle (mixed with distilled water it will last months or more) and spray down the surfaces. Although due to FDA regulations they have to list a longer contact time, Charlie Talley of 5 Star Chemical, makers of StarSan, has said that their tests show a 99.9% effectiveness after a 30 second contact time. Remember, that means simply wetting the surface, not full immersion. I usually only mix 2.5 gallons at a time for sanitizing 5-7 gal. fermenters. I could get by with less, but old habits die hard.

share|improve this answer

This is what I do regularly for bottling. Start with clean bottles, fill (let's say) 3 bottles with starsan. After getting everything else ready to go, I'll start a pipeline: empty bottle 1 through a funnel into (new) bottle 4, then fill the just-emptied bottle 1 while emptying bottle 2 into bottle 5. Cap bottle 1. Start filling bottle 2 while transferring starsan from bottle 3 into bottle 6… and so on down the line.

share|improve this answer
I used to do that with 1.5 liter soda bottles - and you don't need to fill the bottle - just a little in the bottom that you slosh around. Then pour that in to the next on the pipeline! – mdma Sep 25 '13 at 21:28
It's true; as it happens, the (full) bottle->bottle transfer time is about the same as the (low-pressure beer gun) fill time, so it pipelines nicely, but … it will probably be a bit less "messy" with a smaller amount of starsan sloshed around. I'll give that a try next time. – jsled Sep 27 '13 at 13:46

In the past I've generally done what the other answers here recommend: fill a bottle with Star San and pour from bottle to bottle. Works well except that it tends to foam up, making it more difficult to pour out. (But don't fear the foam!) I've also used a spray bottle, which is less foamy.

Recently I bought a Vinator bottle rinser, which is quick and easy to use. Takes less than a cup of fluid and does a good job of spraying down the interior. The manufacturer's bottle tree is not required. http://www.northernbrewer.com/shop/vinator-bottle-rinser.html

Finally, you can also consider sanitizing glass bottles in your oven. Winter is coming in the northern hemisphere, so here's a good excuse to heat up the kitchen. http://www.howtobrew.com/section1/chapter2-2-3.html

share|improve this answer

You must remember heating bottles greatly degrades their strength.

share|improve this answer
Doesn't answer the original poster's question. – Dean Brundage Oct 4 '15 at 21:16
This does not provide an answer to the question. To critique or request clarification from an author, leave a comment below their post - you can always comment on your own posts, and once you have sufficient reputation you will be able to comment on any post. – Pepi Oct 5 '15 at 16:16

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.